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to think that people should not be standing there with babies and small children?

(11 Posts)
TandB Wed 17-Aug-11 13:21:21

I am at my office in Brixton today and the Footlocker which was set on fire during the riots caught fire again this morning and is completely gutted.

They have closed off a fair chunk of the high street again - the shops nearby are closed, as is the tube station - but they have left the opposite pavement open for people to use. The whole place stinks of smoke and acrid fumes - you can even smell it in our office with the windows closed.

I went out to get some lunch and could barely squeeze past the hordes of people gathered to take photos and watch the action. Now while I don't really see the appeal in taking photos and video of a burned shop front and a load of black smoke, if that is how people want to spend their time then that is up to them - although it is slightly annoying to have to spend about 10 minutes trying to do a 30 second walk.

What I was a bit hmm about was the number of people standing there, as close as they could get, with babies and small children. One woman had a tiny baby in her arms. Another two had smallish babies in prams and a toddler with them - they were still there when I cam back from getting my lunch. My throat is still stinging about 10 minutes after getting back so what on earth are these poor babies breathing in?

AIBU to think that this is something that should perhaps occur to the police officers on duty and that they should make some effort to keep people moving past? I know they shouldn't have to but they must be able to see that people have brought small children into an area where the firebrigade are using masks to protect themselves.

Pagwatch Wed 17-Aug-11 13:24:59

People are deeply odd kungfu. I don't begin to understand rubbernecking.

When I first was at work an office caught fire near us and people stood and watched in a crowd as a person died at one of the windows.

It eludes me totally

Pandemoniaa Wed 17-Aug-11 13:27:47

People are very silly indeed. I blame it on this ridiculous need to photograph everything, despite the fact that most of the images will be dreadful. You didn't see Cartier-Bresson standing by burning buildings with a baby and a Leica in his hand, didya?

Recently a chip shop on Brighton seafront caught fire. Dramatically, given all the oil and other combustible material. Where were the onlookers? About two foot away from the conflagration, that's where. All trying to get the event up on YouTube before each other. And yes, there were small children and babies in arms accompanying some of the gormless gawpers.

So no, YANBU in thinking people should be moved along if they don't have the commonsense to make this rational decision themselves.

TandB Wed 17-Aug-11 13:28:44

That is horrible, Pag. You have to at least hope that for some people it was just a case of being transfixed in shock rather than actually wanting to watch.

[desperately hopeful about humanity emoticon]

AmberLeaf Wed 17-Aug-11 13:32:41

It doesnt surprise me TBH, its human nature to want to see/know and given recent events this is probably magnified.

TandB Wed 17-Aug-11 13:38:42

But the fire was put out hours ago - all that is left is a large group of firemen standing around watching black smoke wafting out of an empty shop front.

Surely there is nothing to see or know beyond "oh look, a burned out shop".

I can sort of understand stopping for a quick look, perhaps even taking a photo as you pass to send to someone else local who hasn't seen what has happened. But standing there for upwards of 15 minutes (my turnaround time) in stinking chemical fumes with small children? That is beyond me.

choclatelickurs Wed 17-Aug-11 13:40:11

you gotta put it on facebook innit

TheMonster Wed 17-Aug-11 13:43:16


DizzyKipper Wed 17-Aug-11 13:44:45

That is awful Pagwatch, like kungfu I'm going to hope that they were paralysed to the spot through the shock/trauma of seeing it rather than getting some kind of kick out of it.

Maybe some one should be pointing out to the onlookers how dangerous these fumes could be to babies/small children. Police would seem the most obvious choice for this.

Pagwatch Wed 17-Aug-11 14:30:08

I hope there was good reason but not so sure tbh.

Most people are fab but a few are just beyond any respect for anyone.

One of the guys watching worked for me though and I fucked him over with workload for about three weeks after in a 'well if you have time to stand in the street impedeing the emergency services then you clearly need a few more accounts....' way

Poweredbypepsi Wed 17-Aug-11 14:55:36

YANBU I used to work in a shop a few years ago in a city centre and there was a bomb scare right outside, the police really thought it was a bomb had helicopters the whole main street cordoned off etc. I was amazed at people standing right up against the tape they had put off to close the street with babies in buggies and children I didnt have children myself at the time but remember thinking it was a stupid place to stand for an adult let alone a child - what if it WAS a bomb that went off? it wasnt THAT far away from there the supposed bomb was what about flying debris etc??

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